Vacation Time

March 28, 2009

road-trip2

We are on vacation……yeh!

My family decided to take a littel breather and go off for few days. Be back on Monday. Have fun at what you’re doing.

See ya next time “In the Hayloft”,


March 16, 2009

And A Good Time Was Had By All

This past weekend I went away on a a long overdue quilt retreat with some ladies from my guild, the Lake Norman Quilters. Joyce of heArts Desire Retreats arranged the whole thing for us.

There were 13 of us (including Joyce) and we had the whole place to ourselves. The facility, located just outside of Boone, sleeps 13 people with with all but 2 having a separate twin bed (2 get to share a double bed in a cozy loft).

Michele and I arrived Friday midday just in time for lunch. We dropped our cases, picked a spot to sew and got right down to business.

Michele started working on her new fairy doll and got most of her finished with clothes except for the embellishments and the panties…who knew fairies wore panties?????

We worked on all sorts of projects from quilts to bags to dolls to paper. Check out some of these pics….

Mary Jo helping Cheryl

Cheryl & Mary Jo

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some show 'n tell off camera range

some show 'n tell out of camera range

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Jean's newly carved stamps

Jean's newly carved stamps

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Liz working on a big 'un

Liz working on a big 'un

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There was lots of singing and dancing in between sewing. Here’s Joyce and Jean letting the music take them…..

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We laughed and joked and chatted and then some. Because it rained a dribbling cold rain the whole time we were there, we didn’t even venture outside the whole weekend.

Some us us even took a snooze cause we were working so hard at play.

hearts-desire81

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And here are all of us in our parting shot on Sunday…notice the big smiles…..something or other to do with salami???

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yeh………good times!

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See ya next time “In the Hayloft”,


Catching Up

August 13, 2008

Well, here I am again, checking in and glad to be back in my own bed…..you know, the comfortable stuff you know like the stuffy pillow that fits your head right or the lumps and bumps of the mattress you know by heart.
We had a great time, just the few days and my friend (who is expecting twins) is so very exhausted. She looks like she’s overdue, poor thing, and she’s still got 2 more months to go! Thanks goodness I had them one at a time.
I got a chance to got to New York City with my kids so we took the train from Summit, NJ (where we used to live) into the city. Besides seeing the city again we had a few missions…one wanted to visit a bead shop, the other wanted to visit an art shop and, of course, I wanted to visit a quilt shop in the Chelsea district.
I must say it was like arriving home again. I lived in NY for 2 1/2 yrs and as I stepped out of Penn Station, the ole feeling of “being in NYC” took over. The kids knew they had to bear with me for a few.

My daughter was estatic cause we found 4 bead shops for her to peruse. Funny thing is she came away with only four items. Can you believe that???? Sadly we didn’t get to an art store for my son but…..I did find THE shop……yes, I got to shop…again…. in the The City Quilter. Wish I lived closer to it cause I’d be there all the time. It would be so cool to teach in too.

More pics later of my trip home and the”Drive by photos” I like to take. They are so cool.
See ya next time “In the Hayloft”,

Living Rainforest Finally!

August 18, 2007

I know I promised the photos of the Living Rainforest that we visited near Pangbourne in England. Here are just a few. It was facinating walking around because every corner you turned was another interesting and sometimes rare species of life that exist somewhere on this planet of ours.

We’ll start with the Pitcher Plant. Its leaves form pitchers that lure insects inside. The insects are attracted to the nectar that is produced at the bottom of the pitcher.

There the insect is trapped and digested by the plant.


This second photo came at great peril I might add. Someone had to hold me by the waist as I leaned over to take the picture of the bug struggling near the bottom of the plant. You can see his poor spindly legs in the middle of the photo. I think he knew he was done for by then.



This next photo intrigued me. My daughter came running to me telling me I have to come see this. Well since the whole environment was like that and I took my time going over. She came back pulling my arm over to where she was and this is what I came upon. I was no more than one and a half feet away from this “flutterby” (as my 6yr old calls them) when I took this photo. There we at least 5 people in the area and the flutterby did not move a muscle to fly away.


The Swiss Cheese plant is aptly named. It’s large leaves resemble swiss cheese, duh! It’s upward climbing roots are used for ropes in Peru, made into baskets in Mexico and boiled to treat snake bites in Martinique!! I loved the way the leaves formed a canopy over our heads as we walked under them.

These roots were about 2 ft wide by 3 ft high.

There were so many different varieties of plants it’s hard to show them all here but I thought the swirl one was way cool…my kids hate to hear me say that, they say it sounds “so not cool Mummy”… so I say it all the time anyway, hee, hee. Anyway, enough about embarrasing my kids. The leaves swirl in bunches so there would be 3 or 4 of them on a branch.

Can you imagine a few of these trees in your garden and the leaves just swaying back and forth? How magical it would look especially when lying down on a large white hammock with a cool drink nearby and someone feeding you grapes…oops, sorry I got carried away there for a moment!

One thing that was not very pleasant was learning the facts about a particular flower, the Madagascar Rosy Periwinkle. I’m sorry that the photo is not a better one. It’s a native plant of Madagascar that has been horribly exploited because of the discovery of its anti-cancer properties by western pharmaceutical scientist.

Unfortunately the majority of the profits never made its way back to the country, one of the poorest in the world. Organizations are trying to rectify that but think of the millions lost so far (75 million pounds in profit for that industry) that the people of Madascar will never see. Shameful!

To end on a better note the other photo I have I really couldn’t post here on the web. If you want to see a picture of it you’ll have to email me and I’ll send it to you. As soon as you see it you’ll understand why. Whoa johnnie!

See ya next time “In the Hayloft”,


Back and Going Again

July 21, 2007

Oh my goodness!! It’s great to be back home at least for the next few hours at least. We got back in Thursday afternoon all safe and sound and I got to sleep in my own bed!! What a blast that was! Even after all that traveling and time change can you believe my body still got me up at 6:45am on Friday. It caught up to me though b/c I was in bed by 8pm last night totally konked out.

I’ll be leaving tomorrow morning to fly to NY to attend the Quilting by the Lake (QBL) workshop I signed up for. It should be so much fun not doing anything but qulting for the whole week and having my friend DeLane along for the ride. Whoopee!! I am busy packing supplies (and obviously still online) and machine and clothes and all those things I think I shouldn’t forget (but probably will anyway and will have to beg to borrow from DeLane or any other poor soul who happens to sit next to me in class).

One quick story…the day before we were supposed to leave I had hubby drive me to a quilt shop I found and afterwards we stopped at a pub he remembered frequenting way back when for a drink. (The English love their pubs and there are plenty of them around to be able to stop for the proverbial drink). Anyway…everyone sat down at a table overlooking the River Thames and what was next door but a beautiful garden…so I proceeded to take out the camera and take some pics (BTW, my daughter accused me of having more time for the camera than her this trip…uhm, so what if she’s right this time?).

I am busy clicking away trying to get all sorts of shots of flowers and foliage and water and experimenting with certain views, that I took no notice of the barman come out to ask me to please come back to the pub’s side of the area because I was trespassing on private property (cheeky girl) until hubby stepped in to get my attention. Oh the shame of it. NOT! I did returned to the pub side and continued to take pics, with my hubby just smiling and shaking his head. I had informed him when we first started the trip that my focus, including being with his family, was to look at the English world for ideas for all sorts of things depicting line and shape. I came back with almost 700 pics that I now have to sift thru and sort.

It was a good trip and not at all as long as I feared. I promise as soon as I get back from QBL to post some of the pics I took while in England, especially the ones from the Living Rainforest that I promised.

See ya next time “In the Hayloft”,


Visiting Friends

July 12, 2007
Today we drove to Bournemouth to visit a mate of Dave’s from high school. Craig is as solid a guy as he ever was and Rachel hasn’t changed either, still a happy-go-lucky sole and a lot of fun to be around. They have a 5 and 4 yr old. Together we all prepared a barbeque lunch and sat in their lovely garden under a wide, wide umbrella to eat. So very relaxing that it seems like we sat around and chatted for hours afterwards. Tomorrow it’s off to Bath and Bristol where Dave grew up. He’s so excited to show us around.
See ya next time” In The Hayloft”,

Our Vacation: Part I

July 7, 2007

Tha family and I arrived in England on Thurs morn to visit the in-laws and have a bit of a holiday. Yesterday we went to a place called “The Living Rainforest” which is a little hole in the wall place but with quite an oh-so-facinating set-up. You walk past double hanging plastic sheets (like vertical blinds only heaivier) into an atmosphers that hits you immediately with its temperature change…humidity up the ying yang!! But, the first thing that greets you is a beautiful pink orchid growing off the bark of a tree. What a welcome.

As you walk round and round the area, on planked pathways, you find yourself looking over barriers into pools of water below and while gazing overhead to make sure you’re not runing into overhanging plants that jsut beg to be seen. I just went around clicking photo after photo of the most amazing plant life that sometimes took my breath away and animal species that I wouldn’t ordinarily want to meet up with at any other time.

We picked the wrong day to go though because 3 charter buses (yes three) full of middle school students had decided to decend upon the rainforest as well and since the paths were very narrow it was harrowing at times walking thru, with everyone trying to take pictures and oohing and ahhing at all there was to see.

To put all the pics I took would take me a long time and you a lifetime to look thru so Ill post them as I post updates. If you ever get a chance to go…it is definitely worth the effort.


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